Nintendo Co. on Wednesday officially unveiled its anticipated hand-held Nintendo 3DS, which allows users to play 3-D games and experience enhanced networking services. The clam-shell device, which comes with a built-in camera to shoot 3-D photos, is priced at ¥25,000 and due to hit Japanese store shelves on Feb. 26, 2011, the company said. Unlike viewing 3-D movies or television, a special pair of glasses is not required to play the 3DS, which looks similar to the Nintendo DS but has screens on each upper and bottom side.
Convenience store sales in August rose 1.0 percent from a year earlier on a same-store basis for the second consecutive month of growth, the Japan Franchise Association said Wednesday. The rise was thanks to strong sales of summer seasonal items, such as ice cream, amid scorching temperatures nationwide.
Japanese researchers said Friday they had developed technology to scan a book as fast as a person can flip through it. A prototype ultra-speed scanner capable of digitising a book in one minute will be built within two years, said the chief researcher of the team at the University of Tokyo's Graduate School of Information Science and Technology. The "book-flipping scanning" system works with a camera that can take up to 500 photographs per second, enabling it to record about 170 book pages in 60 seconds as a person thumbs through them.
Lawson Inc. plans to open 130 outlets in China next year as economic growth and rising disposable incomes boost consumer spending there. Japan's second-largest convenience store operator will boost capital spending as much as fivefold to $50 million next year to add stores in the Chinese cities of Chongqing and Shanghai, President and Chief Executive Officer Takeshi Niinami said in an interview in Tianjin on Tuesday.
Japan's biggest video game show kicked off Thursday at the Makuhari Messe convention center in Chiba, with motion-sensor game systems and three-dimensional display images drawing the most attention. At the four-day Tokyo Game Show, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. and Microsoft Corp. presented game systems that let users control the action with their entire bodies, in an apparent response to Nintendo's Wii hand-held motion-sensor controller.
Oki Matsumoto, chief executive officer of online trader Monex Group Inc. and a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. partner, has a solution to the stagnant economy: Learn "globish." Matsumoto holds regular parties at the Tokyo-based company where employees must speak globish, or global English, a language for nonnative speakers using basic grammar and a vocabulary of 1,500 words.
Many foreign automakers are trying to grab a larger share of the Japanese market by taking advantage of the strong yen to cut the prices of their cars, sometimes by hundreds of thousands of yen. These carmakers have chalked up brisk sales in recent months--the Japan Automobile Importers Association said Monday 131,799 registered imported cars were sold between January and August, an impressive 26.2 percent rise from the same period in 2009.
In a bid to capture and exploit wasted heat, a consortium of Japans biggest companies plans to use body warmth generated by lazing around into energy for powering TV remotes. The “energy scavenging” campaign has been formed by 23 Japanese companies, including bitter rivals Honda and Toyota, with the aim of filling homes, offices and cars with electronic devices that can power themselves.
Since major electronic money services emerged in 2001, it has become common in Tokyo for people to go through ticket gates by just touching a smart card to electronic readers at train stations and to make small purchases without pulling out their wallets at convenience stores. Japan's cash-based tradition is changing. There are two forms of e-money services. The pre-paid cards such as Suica as well as post-paid cards that are linked to a credit card like Sumitomo's Mitsui card.
Japan "is ripe" for more mergers and acquisitions as companies have ample cash and the level of takeover activity is lower than it should be, according to Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Japanese companies should consolidate in industries where there is excessive competition, and be more aggressive in making acquisitions in Asia, where the long-term growth potential is high, Kathy Matsui, chief strategist for Goldman in Japan, said Wednesday.